Statement at the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Interactive Dialogue on written update of the High Commissioner on the human rights situation in Myanmar
Delivered by May Thiri Khin, Burma Human Rights Network
Thank you, Mr. President,
CIVICUS and the Burma Human Rights Network thank the High Commissioner for his report on the human rights situation in Myanmar where he notes a brutal campaign against any form of opposition. Activists face killings, torture, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances while communities suffer air strikes, forced displacement and denial of humanitarian access.
We are also concerned by ongoing repatriation processes of the Rohingya in the absence of conditions for safe, dignified, and sustainable returns.
Some 600,000 Rohingya remain trapped in camps in Rakhine state under a system of discriminatory laws and policies that amount to crimes against humanity and ongoing genocide. They face restrictions to freedom of movement, their livelihoods, and their access to education and health. Both Bangladesh and Myanmar junta are trying to coerce refugees in Bangladesh to return without consulting the community or addressing the grave risks to their lives and liberty. These measures would be refoulement and against international law.
We are also concerned about the obstructions civil society groups delivering aid faced in Rakhine following Cyclone Mocha including threats and arrests and suspension of all travel authorisation, leaving the Rohingya exposed to serious life-threatening conditions.
BHRN and CIVICUS call on the international community to acknowledge the illegitimacy of the military junta’s power in Myanmar and condemn any efforts to forcibly return Rohingya refugees to an active war zone.
BHRN and CIVICUS call on the Council and the UN to take strong, coordinated action to prevent further atrocities against the Rohingya and others by the military junta.
We thank you.